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Conversations with Coworkers Cont’d

20 Dec

So me and the office folks were at it again.

The topic – relationships.

The catalyst – not really sure.

Like Andre Benjamin, my memory sucks. My sister just reminded me of this today.

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I think it all began with my boss (Mark) telling me that he planned on ending his relationship with the woman he’s been dating the last year. Termination date —  December 26th. Why the day after Christmas? Because he can’t do it on Christmas and her birthday. Yes, this unsuspecting woman shares her birthday with Jesus of Nazareth. Home girl, just can’t win.  Can she?

I think Mark wants to start off 2017 with a clean slate. Who can blame him? New year, new you and all of that. I’m coloring my hair. Plus Mark’s girlfriend is making plans for New Year’s Eve, so lets abort this failed mission of romantic mediocrity shall we. I can dig it.

So a discussion of the termination of Mark’s romantic entanglement mushrooms into a generic discussion on local dating between three 30-ish singles (myself, Mark, and another woman (Stephanie)).

Mark states that good company and conversation are hard to find.

Agreed.

Stephanie shares that some of the men she’s dated have complained that she’s so self-sufficient that she doesn’t need them.  Hmmm. Define need.  Men have told me that I’m intimidating.

Again.

shrug

Mark mentions that one of his single friends decided to end things with a woman he was dating because she didn’t keep a neat home. Now by untidy I mean some shirts were scattered about the floor.  I’m not referring to a roach-infested, unsanitary, basket-of-deplorable dump. Now both parties are employed well. The messy woman is a lawyer and apparently Mark’s friend has a really good job, code for he makes bank.

But where does Mark’s friend reside?

At home with his momma.

 

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Conversations with Coworkers

15 Dec

Convo #1

Last week I asked a coworker if she was taking time off for the holidays. We’re civil servants and the federal government is typically a ghost town during the month of December with so many people having use-or-lose leave to burn.  She said she wasn’t taking time off for Christmas because she’s not married nor does she have children.

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I said neither am I, but I’ll be taking time off. Everyone needs a break. Americans work way too much as it is. Forty percent of Americans do not use all of the vacation days we’re entitled. If you’re fortunate enough to have paid leave — use it. And women tend to do the heavy lifting (lest we forget) so we truly need a break to recover, rest, and recharge.

Time off isn’t the sole domain of couples and/or breeders. In fact, I’d argue that singles actually need it more because we’re a unit of one with no one to share life’s load. We’re more likely to be the caretakers of family members/friends and the contributors to our community as a whole.

Yes, our capitalistic society likes to center holiday fun around kids and obligatory-gift-exchanges. But festive adventure shouldn’t end with adulthood; nor should one’s parental and relationship status influence one’s propensity to enjoy life. The child-free and/or spouse-free needn’t opt out of holiday cheer and well-deserved time off. Party.  Sleep.  Vacate. Drown yourself in tacky holiday decorations. Do absolutely nothing.

We all deserve it.

Convo #2

A married coworker (Kim) told us that she “pulled” her husband with her tasty home-cooked meals. Apparently Kim’s now-husband was heavy into that gym life and was eating low-calorie bland meals before her arrival. Got ’em, Kim said. I assume with her macaroni and cheese.

A male coworker (Mark) cosigned with the adage, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. We’ve heard it all before. Somebody cue up the Sunshine Anderson.

But what’s path to a woman’s heart? What’s the corresponding adage for that?

In We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie writes

We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.

My point exactly. Where’s the instructional for men? They’re left to their own devices and women are expected to silently and graciously endure.

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Murmurings of a Black Male

17 Nov

This week I listened to a black man profess to having difficulty meeting women in the DC area.

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Stats include he’s 30, highly-educated, decent looking, gainfully employed, and (from what I can discern) self-sufficient. He is also the father of two boys; he had a child at 20 and then again with his now ex-wife. (If I have the story right.) He’s certainly not the tallest man in the room. I’m guessing in the 5’7 to 5’8 range, so if you’re a stickler for height he might not make the cut. (Get it? Tee hee.) But surely there are enough petit women roaming these DMV streets who won’t take issue with his height. Or nah?

So of course I counter with — all these women around here and you’re complaining….(my usual response). He has a girlfriend BTW; they’ve been dating for a year. According to Mr. Looks-Good-On-Paper, he finds difficulty meeting quality women. There may be quantity, but there is a shortage of quality he said. I’ve heard this statement before, several times from different black men. And by quality this particular guy means a woman with a good job, attractive, fit, self-sufficient, and no children (even though he has two kids in tow but I didn’t call him on that one, not yet).

I freely admit that dating is challenge for most, if not all. There are so many factors involved (e.g., timing, availability, location, attraction, happenstance, societal pressures, and the list goes on). Furthermore, these days we expect to have it all when it comes to long-term partnership. We’re not simply looking for financial security and pursuing procreation as the daters who came before us. We’re all about the total package in 2016. Is he cute? Is she smart? Does he make me laugh? What’s her credit score?  Is he physically active? Does she like sports?

So we’ve set the bar high folks (or at least most of us have). And finding “one of the ones” who meets our non-negotionables isn’t easy.

That being said, I still maintain that it’s harder for women, than for men.  In All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, author Rebecca Traister said that women tend to get the short end of the stick in romantic realm. Hells yeah. And it gets even more difficult as we women age (gracefully, no less).

I’d rather not hear men complain about quality when they, at the very least, have quantity.  There can be no quality if there is no quantity; and that’s where many 30+ women land. Where?  Oh where, is the quantity? Since returning to the DC area, most of the men I meet in my age range (who seem decent and are physically attractive) are already spoken for. It’s called assortative mating. And as women age, the number of single available males dwindles. Jon Birger examines this in Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game.

I feel  as though I’ve discussed this ad nauseam on WABGTD (see past posts) as well as in my personal life with family, friends, and coworkers.  I’m kinda tired of talking about it. And I’m certainly tired of hearing men complain, especially a man who already has someone.

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Best Twitter Rant Ever @beeyroyce

23 Mar

So I know Yeezy has been getting all the attention due to his recent tweeted soliloquies but I stumbled across this glorious thread by @beeyroyce that I endorse wholeheartedly.  Words to live by ladies, for sure.

Beey Rant 1

Beey Rant 2

 

 

Oh and this just in, black Men in the DMV only attend sporting events. I know this isn’t news for most of us single black women living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (hence the sarcasm).  But I do appreciate VSB for vocalizing it.

Now if only they could clone eligible Idris Elba-esque versions of themselves.

The Crazies Entry #1 (Frank-the-Tank)

11 Jan

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So as the year 2015 came to a close, this guy reached out to me online via the POF dating site. I’m a light user; far from the proactive sort. I generally only respond when it’s someone I’m attracted to with an acceptable profile, which unfortunately is rare.

He (let’s call him Frank-the-Tank) came with a decent one-liner “I like bougie black girls too” referencing a T-shirt I sported in one of my profile pictures. His profile and his looks were adequate so I responded.

I do apologize for not having actual screenshots of the conversation. Sadly to the disappointment of women everywhere, Frank-the-Tank has deleted his POF profile.

So you know where this is going – right?

I asked Frank-the-Tank to define bougie. According to him, bougie women are confident, ambitious, have a unique sense of style, and go the extra mile in the bedroom to please their partner.

Who knew bougie women were such sexual givers? Did you know? I had no idea. You learn something new every day.

Frank-the-Tank wasted no time with his first question. He wanted to know what I was looking for in a man mentally and physically. I reply and counter with the same question. Frank-the-Tank explains that he’s usually attracted to women with the following characteristics: a nice smile, soft-spoken, thick thighs, and a big booty.

His exact words.

I try not to fault his straightforwardness due to the fact that I listed candor as one of the traits I appreciated in a partner. And we’re all adults here, 35+ so let’s move on.

I power through.

I explain to Frank-the-Tank that I think my bum is about average size but I definitely check all his other boxes.

I ask Frank-the-Tank what brings him to POF and how he’s enjoyed his experiences thus far.

Frank-the-Tank explains that the women he meets in person tend to be of poor quality so he decided to try the online world. Frank-the-Tank then proceeds to tell me that he’s looking for the mythical educated and successful woman.

Again his exact words.

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This is the Washington, DC metropolitan area Frank. There are plenty of educated and successful women in these streets. To quote a friend, you could throw a rock and hit one there’s so many. Washington, DC is ranked second among the US’s top educated cities.

So of course I shared my opinion (cause that’s what I do). I told him that I felt that there were plenty of educated and successful women in the area i.e., if you define success as employed and self-sufficient. I also shared that dating becomes more challenging as we age because the “mythical” pool shrinks.

Frank-the-Tank never responded.

My assumption is that he defined soft-spoken as docile/passive/acquiescent; none of which describes yours truly (generally speaking). Most educated and successful women have opinions which they willingly share and rightfully so. It astonishes me how many men claim to want an intelligent partner but immediately bolt when they encounter a woman who isn’t a halfwit. Say what you mean and mean what you say, please. If you’re looking for a fuckable, nonresponsive unresponsive sounding board then hire a bloody prostitute.

Another assumption I have is that Frank-the Tank was African or Caribbean. He listed French as a second language in his profile. And I tend to attract a lot of West Indian and African men for some reason. It’s been this way all of my dating life. I have no problem with this. I’m all about diversity,  an EEO. However, it’s a challenge if they are seeking a woman who believes in traditional gender roles and all of that. If so, they are truly barking up the wrong tree. And it’s a waste of time for all.

Or maybe Frank-the-Tank was married? After all he deleted his profile within like about a month’s time.

Who knows really? It’s all speculation. My attempt to understand these crazies.

And men wonder why the popular hashtag #WasteHisTime2016 exists.

Is turnabout not fair play?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bell hooks Interviews Kevin Powell on Black Masculinity

21 Dec

Over the weekend I listened to the below interview sponsored by my alma mater, The New School. bell hooks (my favorite feminist social critic) interviewed author and activist Kevin Powell, focusing specifically on black masculinity as discussed in Powell’s recent memoir The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood.

There were so many nuggets of wisdom that I took away from their discussion. In all honesty, most of them don’t focus on black masculinity. I’ve included them below and yes they’re all bell hooks quotes. What can I say? I’m fascinated by her simple candor.

Girl, get your money straight.   

He listens when I critique him.  -hooks on her relationship with Kevin Powell

We all think that we can be loving even as we hold onto all of this toxic energy and toxic stuff. 

I’m fed up with images of black women that are diminished and degraded.  -hooks on why she didn’t see the film Straight Outta Compton

I don’t have to be angry to be clear.  

Emotionally intelligent  (I absolutely love this term.)

I don’t think we can have revolution without humor. 

Here’s the interview below in its entirety. It’s worth the listen.

10 Dec

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Today two of my coworkers were complaining about their slothful, non-cooking husbands.

It started off harmless enough.

One coworker (let’s call her Tamar) was patting herself on the back for getting her two young boys up, fed, clothed, out of the house and to daycare while successfully making it to work by 7:30AM (earlier than Tamar’s usual start time). Understandably so, Tamar was annoyed that her husband did not contribute to the effort.

My other coworker (let’s call her Jamilah) chimed in and said that it [marriage] doesn’t get any better as time goes on. She frankly shared that her husband was able to adequately feed himself prior to their union and he even managed to prepare a meal or two for them. Unfortunately for Jamilah, this man no longer knows what the inside of a kitchen looks like. He arrives home from their workday prior to Jamilah and waits for her to cook dinner. And to Jamilah’s credit, she gently nudges her husband by leaving recipes out for him but to no avail. Hubby is not taking the bait.

Tamar then shared that one day her better-half called her to ask how to make pasta.

I sat and listened in irritation.

But I’m the single one, right?

🙂

 

 

 

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